We were up by 7 and started packing up. We weren't at the right hotel to be laying all our filthy things in the middle of its parking lot, but we did anyway. We spent over an hour figuring out what was garbage and going through packs of baby wipes to clean each item before placing it in the bags. Everything was brown, chalky, and just filthy beyond belief. Literally as if it was intentionally rolled in dirt not missing a single spot, covering every crevice.
We finally got everything sorted out and were pretty stressed about the car. You can't just enter a country with a car and leave without - that's considered import and there are taxes that go along with it. But there was only one flight and we had to be at the airport by noon to even try getting the ticket.
We drove around for ages until we found a mechanic and asked him to scrap the car. He wrote us a note that I didn't notice wasn't much of the official letter I requested (this one just had 5 words on it: date. "Car will be scrapped") that's it. No address, no number, no shop name, and I was on a 1x4" piece of RIPPED paper. How does one miss this.
We were running out of time. The mechanic flagged us a cab which took the 20 min longer route to the airport asking me all about Canada and telling me all about the glorious-ness of what a genius and legend genghis khan was. And like every other person I've talked to, thought I was a local and justin was just visiting me.
We made it. In order to even enter the airport, you have to go through security, X-ray, everything. We had so much luggage! Two full check-ins, 4 carry ons, plus the drone bag. We rushed to get tickets and prayed there was still something left. There was. But we then spent almost an hour at the check in desk trying to lose 9kg. We gifted the attendant a pretty damn good car lift, nail polish for the daughter, and maple syrup we happened to have. We then had to move things around and put the frying pan in our carry on (we checked in 2 large suitcases full of car things, tools, and camping gear). We then each had 2 carry on bags with more things, a purse, and a drone bag.
We were super worried for passport control since we still had the car stamp in it and were now leaving by plane. He looked at the stamp but got distracted by the temporary passports which then turned into a 20 min ordeal that gates justin and I in in about a 2 foot square space, but once they were cleared, we were good to go. So either they forgot, or didn't care. I didn't pull out our "note" but it also means we may not be able to return to the country without some hefty thousands owed in import taxes as we didn't get anything official in writing. Granted, we will have different passports within a week and we *were* told it was getting scrapped!
Going through security, lol, we put our carry ons through the X-ray. All was good.... until the agent stopped the machine and all confusedly asked "is that.... a .... pan?" Yes. Yes it was. She didn't know what to do so she called other agents. There were now 4-5 hovering in and out asking wtf are we travelling with a pan, all laughing at how bizarre this was. I tried the "I promise I won't hit anyone with it" bit. A few more back and forth, supervisors called in, and the agent said "ok. I'm trusting you on this one. But don't bring a pan next time". I said there won't be a next time, I don't tend to travel around with a pan in my purse.
We were turning into beasts at this point as we had not eaten all day so we went for a celebratory beer and some food.
We were slightly worried about Air Astana at first... what quality flight from Kazakhstan would be like, but then based on the city, we decided they're very proud and probably would have a pretty good airline that will surprise us.
They did. Walking in, your seat greeted you with a pillow and a package. Each package contained slippers (?!), a toothbrush and toothpaste, hand cream, headphones (and a nice pair too!!), a pen, an eye mask that said "wake me up for meal" on one side in green, and "do not disturb" in red on the other. Genius! They also gave out blankets, and we're talking nice thick fleece vs the paper thin sheets I've frozen under on other flights. Unfortunately considering this was their longest route (they only just extended to long international flights in June), each seat didn't have its own tablet for movies and such which the program in the pocket stated they did, so we just lucked out with an older plane is all.
I cried over the Zookeeper's Wife on the main screen and zoned out for the Kazakh movie that followed. It wasn't the most comfortable flight, and as It was still Kazakhstan territory, even if thousands of feet in the air, it wasn't a very smooth ride. Wouldn't be Kazakhstan if it was though!
We landed in London, stood in customs line for almost an hour, but our agent was hilarious. Think Chris Rock, including the laugh! We chatted for quite a while and he told us he could listen to us all day, definitely the funnest customs we ever experienced.
Heathrow is monstrous so we had to train and took us half an hour to get to the other terminal. We rushed over to the Air Canada desk to see what our options to change our flights were, but it was the only airline closed. We eventually were able to call overseas and get on the 3pm flight the next day, so we were nomads in the airport for 21 hours sleeping in the cafe before checking in. So happy I snuck the blanket and kept the eye mask - I had sprawled across the cafe cushioned benches and justin and I alternated throughout the night. We continuously bought overpriced lame sandwiches but it was weird to have 24/7 access to food again. What is this luxury?!